Time Out says
Labaki herself plays the thirtysomething daughter from a Christian family, who should of course be off their hands by now – except she’s having a secret affair with a married man. Her Muslim co-workers meanwhile have problems of their own, including a bride desperate to hide the fact that she’s not quite as virginal as her in-laws would like to believe, and a tomboy-ish type whose only apparent outlet for her sexual longings is delivering creamy scalp massage to an obviously colluding female client.
In surroundings of faded would-be glamour, Lebanon’s bloody recent history and religious tensions barely get much of a look-in, since the film prioritises personal intrigues, played out by a largely non-professional cast (the mad old ladies next door are particular treasure) who bring an impeccable authenticity to the proceedings. Labaki’s direction favours an affectionate amble: her screenplay throws up few genuine surprises, yet this is, frankly, a lovely film. Insisting on the bittersweet buzz of tiny female victories in the fraught milieu she describes as ‘my Beirut’, it’s lovingly shaped and deeply felt, a happy-sad charmer which deserves a wide audience.
Cast and crew
Yasmine Al Masri